Thursday, May 17, 2012

MFF#10: My Baby Boy by Judy Beaston

Welcome to Unwritten's  May Flash Fiction challengeEvery story (600 words max) begins with this sentence: 

 I never expected to be in this position so soon, saying goodbye to my son. 

For many women, the dream of having a child is dashed by the curse of infertility. For others, a baby is the last thing they expected or wanted. Judy Beaston brings these two situations together in this bittersweet story, ending with a note of hope. Read on and be generous with comments!

My Baby Boy

I never expected to be in this position so soon, saying goodbye to my son. Though the pregnancy was unplanned, I treasured this little being within my womb.

His dad and I rejected any suggestions of abortion, promised to support one another going forward. Keith, eighteen, remained in school, but I was a strong-willed seventeen-year old and dropped out during my fifth month. It was the ultrasound image of our fast-developing son that captivated me. We were going to be a family and I was eager to begin my life as a mom.

With no savings, and very little income, we moved in with his aunt. Her promise of help and support encouraged me. The world waited for us, our sails were set and the breeze was gentle.

Three weeks before the due date, my family intervened. Keith’s family joined the assault, for that’s how it seemed to me at the time. I was heartbroken, but agreed with their logic. I did want what was best for our child, did want to complete school. But I did not want to lose my little boy.

Two days later, Keith and I sat with an adoption counselor. I fought back tears. In my womb, our baby kicked and turned as if he knew and wasn’t pleased.

“You’re wise to make this choice,” the counselor beamed. I frowned.

She handed us a large album filled with family biographies, like little advertisements, each declaring: Choose us. Look at the stable and rich home life we’ll provide.

Keith and I selected a family with a three-year old. A sibling would be nice, we agreed. The family’s album detailed their love of camping, biking, celebrating holidays. They both had good jobs and lived in a nice community. Our son would thrive.

On the day he was born, that family waited for our call. Given the option, I’d refused to let them be present during the birth. When that little boy entered this world, my emotions overrode logic. The call that family received was not the one anticipated. I had changed my mind; decided I would be my son’s mom. Keith’s aunt would help; my mom would help. We would struggle but remain together.

Three weeks later, reality shadowed desire. My expectations of ongoing help were not met. All of our relatives had day jobs. Keith went to school, then work, then out with friends. I had lost most of my friends when I quit school. My full-time job was caring for a colicky child I was woefully unprepared to nurture. I was exhausted and afraid. This was not the life I anticipated for my little man.

I never expected to say good-bye so soon. He was supposed to remain by my side until Kindergarten, live with me until he left for college, return again and again to my loving embrace.

I tuck a blue blanket, the one with trucks and bears on it, around the edge of his carrier. In a bag, I gently place rattles, a stuffed dog, and the little bear that drew his first smile when I held it before his eyes. A small envelope holds notes about his schedule, the first doctor’s report, a photo from the day he was born.

While waiting for the woman from the adoption agency, I hold my son’s hand. His strong, tiny fingers grasp one of mine. I gaze into his pure blue eyes. A tear runs across his cheek. It’s mine. I leave it for him, a going-away gift. I imagine it as one small part of me going with him. 

Judy Beaston lives in northwest Oregon where the weather and people suit her muse. She composes flash fiction, short stories, novels and poetry about following dreams, the ins and outs of living the human experience and just wacky, sometimes funny, tall tales. In the spaces between the written notes, she enjoys playing her tenor saxophone and keyboard, as well as playing with her two grandkids.  Her flash and short stories have won acclaim at WritersType and WOW-Women on Writing.


  1. That was heart-rending. Please tell me it's not a true story

    1. It is based on a true story, the boy in the story being the son I adopted. I really only changed a little, including the names. The birth parents did make a late-pregnancy decision, were that young and the birth mom did change her mind when he was born sending my family that heart-breaking call. Three weeks later, we were again asked if we would adopt him.

      On the plus side as well, we had an open adoption. The birth mom has been a thread in this boy's life ever since.

  2. Wow, Judy, what a wonderful story. I'm glad to know you were the adoptive mother and also that his birth mother is part of his life. I love happy endings.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Leona. My "little" boy just celebrated his 21st birthday last week. My how time flies!

  3. I'm so impressed that this is based on real-life but written from the birth mother's perspective. Very happy the situation worked out so well for everyone. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. I've wanted to compose stories related to this young man (now officially 21) - his life has not been an easy one -- and so the writing isn't easy for me either. Composing this story is a first step (fingers crossed?)

      Thanks for posting my story.

  4. There is such a deep sense of love and loss in this, and an over-riding sense of hope that lifts this story into another realm. I was sorry the story was so short.

    I do hope that you write more based on how this young man has impacted you and those around you. Whether they read as fact or fiction, it won't matter.

    1. Thanks for dropping by to read the story and add your comments.

      Yes, this is a story budding within, waiting for the gates to open. I also hope I'll get more down - soon. :)


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